Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch

About Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch (Cincinnati, February 27, 1925 - New York, July 6, 2002) was an American poet, screenwriter and novelist. His surname Koch is pronounced coke. Kenneth belonged to the so-called New York School. He began writing poetry at a very young age, discovering the work of Percy B. Shelley and John Keats in his teenage years.
He took part in World War II, after which he graduated from Harvard University in 1948, also winning the prestigious Glascock Prize while still a student and finally moved to New York to study doctoral at Columbia University. He also wrote some plays and also taught poetry at Columbia University for more than forty years, becoming a reference in creative writing and where he lectured for more than forty years. Among his students were Ron Padgett, David Shapiro, Frank Lima, Alan Feldman, David Lehman, Jordan Davis, Jessy Randall, David Baratier, Loren Goodman and Carson Cistulli. Many critics assessed his early works as dark, such as Poems (1953). However, he later won the Phi Beta Kappa sorority's Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 1995 he was awarded the Bollingen Prize for his work On the Great Atlantic Railway, Selected Poems 1950-1988 (1994). His other awards include the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Poetry Award from the Library of Congress in 1996, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (inducted in 1996) and the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Ingram-Merrill foundations. Koch lived mostly in New York and died on July 6, 2002 of leukemia. The last book he wrote is New Addresse

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